What is the difference between SOCKS and HTTP/HTTPS proxies?

HTTP/HTTPS Proxies
An HTTP/HTTPs proxy can only be used on an HTTP or HTTPS protocol connection, however these are the protocols that most proxy users need to connect to therefore an HTTP/HTTPS proxy is the most popular by far for proxy users. HTTP and HTTPs are by far the most common protocols making HTTP/HTTPS proxies the way to go for most.

HTTP connections can interpret data on the fly and this is where SOCKS falls short. This ability can save you a lot of time and money when you want to scrape data across many platforms. With pre-interpreted data you can avoid having to download anything manually as well which is great for automation.

SOCKS Proxies
A SOCKS proxy connection is more of a general-purpose connection. It is a very basic connection that establishes a TCP only connection with another server on the client’s behalf. It then uses the TCP connection to route traffic between the client and the server. Typical uses for SOCKS connections are operation behind a firewall and to establish TCP only connections outside of a firewall.

Because SOCKS protocol does not penetrate the data being passed, it can work with any type of connection. For this reason you can use a SOCKS connection with networks that use POP3, HTTP, or almost any connection. SOCKS have a large compatibility scope.

Our SOCKS proxies support versions 4 and 5 so you can use them with connections requiring either. In most use cases you’ll be using version 4 which is the basic SOCKS connection, but with our proxies you can also use a SOCKS5 connection.

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